Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Will She or Won't She?: Lily and the Dog Park

I have heard horror stories about dog parks in other parts of the country, mostly due to unenforced rules and/or irresponsible, inconsiderate owners. We are lucky that our local dog park is wonderful. Dogs must have either a day pass or an annual pass to get into the park, and either pass requires proof of rabies vaccination. The park is divided into two separate, enclosed areas: one for larger dogs, and one for small (approximately 25 pounds and under), timid, or elderly dogs and puppies. We usually stay in the small dog area. Lily is fine with bigger dogs, but I sometimes worry in the larger dog area that she might get accidentally trampled, especially when there is a large group of big dogs stampeding around in a pack.

Unfortunately, the "local" dog park is currently the only one in our county (two more are in the planning stages, but as far as I know no dates have been set for their opening), and it does take us around 15-20 minutes to get there. If we're going to make the drive, then, I want us to "get our money's worth"! As usual, though, Lily has her own plans.

Sometimes when we go to the dog park Lily romps around, playing with all the other dogs, running and bouncing almost non-stop from the time we arrive until the time we leave.

And sometimes when we go, she spends a few minutes sniffing around the perimeter of the enclosure and then plops down in one spot and refuses to move, ignoring all the other dogs completely. There is no way to predict ahead of time which way she will behave on any given dog park trip. It is a total guessing game. If I didn't know better I truly would think she's messing with me. It makes it beyond difficult to decide whether or not to make the drive out to the dog park since I can have absolutely no idea until we get there whether or not it will be a great social activity for her or whether she will get there and spend the entire time lying by herself in the dirt, which she can do just as easily in our backyard without me driving 20 minutes each way.

Lily being anti-social

Don't ever let anyone tell you that dogs don't have a sense of humor.

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